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Us 22, Eddie Long 6, Don 5, B.j. Bernstein 4, Gabrielle 4, Eddie 4, America 4, Ted Haggard 4, Ron 3, Ted 3, Bailey 3, Michael 3, Ricky Lake 3, Shayne 3, Thelma Gutierrez 2, Los Angeles 2, Ron Artest 2, New York 2, Shane Lee 2, Cnn 2,
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  CNN    CNN Newsroom    News/Business.  

    September 26, 2010
    1:00 - 2:00am EDT  

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they're great talents. that is my goal, that the public should connect with this talent that hasn't ite been discovered yet. so that's my goal for barry and for colin. >> larry: you're a good guy, and you're a funny guy. >> thank you, larry. and you're a great man. and we thank you for all your years of service. >> larry: and thanks for the clock. >> you're welcome. >> larry: it shall be here nightly sflsmt that really makes me feel good. good evening, everyone. i'm don lemon. thanks for joining us. tonight we'll devote the better part of this hour to the controversy swirling around bishop eddie long. ted haggard faced his own sex scandal. but we want to catch up on some of the top stories. the water left behind in the midwest from recent storms is causing big problems.
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torrential downpours caused flooding. it's expected to last throughout the weekend. a federal judge is ordering the air force to reinstate an openly lesbian flight nurse. major margaret witt was discharged in 2007 under the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy. but the judge said it violated witt's constitutional rights. they blocked a bill that would have repealed the "don't ask, don't tell." the separation of church and state watchdog group staged at fort bragg, north carolina. it was put on by the billy graham evangelistic association, which has staged similar events on other u.s. military bases. critics said the gathering blurred the line between the state, in this case, the military and religion. the leader of one of the biggest churches in america is under siege right now because of a string of sexual allegations against him. we're talking about the bishop
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eddie long of missionary new baptist church outside of atlanta. he said he will speak tomorrow to his congregation about the charges made in civil lawsuits this week by four young men who had been church members. long's address to his flock, it could make or break the huge religious empire he built since he took over back in 1987. according to the church website, the church had 300 members when long became pastor. well, today it claims more than 25,000 members. let's get you up to date on this developing story with martin savage. he's been looking into the shocking allegations and evolving story here. so tell us about tomorrow's church service. we've been going back and forth about exactly what he's going to say, what the media's allowed to say. >> the most important day probably in bishop long's life as being a religious leader. and it's going to begin at 8:00 in the morning. there are two services tomorrow, 8:00 and 11:00. as far as the media covering the
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event, there will be the first half hour of the service up until bishop long arrives. that will be available, cnn will have a pool camera inside. there will also be the church feed. that's all going on. at 8:30 when he comes in, it will all stop. the reporters there will be allowed to remain. they will hear what the bishop says to his congregation, but that is considered to be a private moment for the bishop to speak to his family, as they put it. >> the reasoning behind that, are they explaining that to you? >> not yet. other than they believe that it's obviously a very important communication. they do not say in any way, shape or form what the message is going to be. >> here's the comments, people have been sort of thinking, or assuming this, that he may say something or is going to say something or possibly admit to something that he doesn't want repeated over and over on videotape. >> well, i mean, there will be a live stream fed out on the internet that you can access by
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going to the church's website. the reality is, it's doubtful that will uphold through all the people that will be logging on to try to see this. but it is possible we could in fact see him make the statement. but beyond that, he's going to hold a press conference between the two church services. the media's invited. all accredited news people can be on hand and ask what they want. of bishop long and of his attorneys. >> all right. martin savidge, thank you. now there are four young men accusing bishop eddie long of coercing them into sex. martin savidge, thank you very much. we appreciate it. we'll talk about the sexual misconduct happens every day. but when they're directed at the clergy, it is especially unsettling. ted haggard had his own crisis in 2006. he joins us from denver. thank you so much for joining us. how are you doing today? >> i'm doing well. good to see you, don. >> what do you make of these allegations against bishop eddie long? >> well, it's very sad.
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i think it points out to me that over and over and over again, we all hope that our leaders don't have sin in their life, but when we look out, leaders are just like everybody else. whether he's guilty of these particular allegations or not, there are faults in everybody's life. everybody needs grace. everybody's going to fail. everybody is in some measure a hypocrite in one way or another. and that's always disappointing. i think it just points out to us that we are all humans and we all struggle with a human condition. >> so listen, i want to play this, because what happened with you, it was said that you were hypocritical in a sense because at first you didn't tell the truth about it. you said, well, you know, these allegations were false. >> right. >> and you didn't believe in gay marriage and you didn't believe in homosexuality at all. so i want to talk about this. because bishop eddie long has also said the same thing, he doesn't believe in gay marriage. as a matter of fact, to me when
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i interviewed him back in october of last year, he said the same thing, edon't believe in gay marriage. it is against god. we're going to talk about a marriage ceremony, or a commitment ceremony that he is alleged to have had with one of the young men. >> eventually it turned into such a relationship that the bishop had a is ceremony with anthony flag called a covenant. it was essentially a marriage ceremony, where there was candles, exchange of jewelry. and biblical quotes given. in order for anthony to know, and for the bishop to tell him, i will always have your back, and you will always have mine. >> so reverend, is this a matter of hypocrisy? innocent until proven guilty. if the bishop, you know, does come out, who knows what he's going to say tomorrow. is it a matter of hypocrisy when you hear these allegations? >> well, i think it's an issue
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of incongruity. he probably has a -- i'm just guessing here. but he probably has a theological position that motivates him in some areas of his life. then he has -- if these allegations are true, then there's the reality of his own humanity that he's struggling with. and of course, the big goal is for all of us to become increasingly congruent between our faith, our belief system and our own actions. so certainly if what he's going to go through is what i went through, i had to face myself and accept the realities of me, who i was, what was going on, how that interfaces with scripture, how that interfaces with life, and get those issues settled. and that's what happens when people go through a crisis like this. >> so the church is a very -- >> yeah, i know. it's very confusing. >> it is. but what i'm saying is, the church is a very forgiving place. a very forgiving place.
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and you admitted these things. you still lost your church. and you lost your post. >> yeah. well, that's the same thing. people have a theology, a belief system, then the realities. and so christians know all of sins fall short of the theory of god. jesus died for everybody. but yet christians are judgmental. that's the same type of incongruity. that's why life teaches all of us. so these four men are going through some lessons in life. maybe about their own vulnerabilities and their own actions. eddie, bishop long is going through the same type of thing. so we from the outside when we look at this, we see this as an incredible learning moment for all of us. but where we become hypocrites is we may say, well, i'm judging him now for hypocrisy and i'm judging the men for not being as responsible as they should to
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stand up under pressure, or whatever. i think what we need to be from the outside is supportive and encouraging for all parties concerned. let the church handle this. let the legal authorities handle this. there are four civil lawsuits. but our role is to pray that -- there's a tomorrow for all of them. and to pray that all of them become better men just like all of us become better men and women as we go through disappointing things in life. >> okay. listen, there were -- with you, there were e-mails and they tracked your credit cards and online, or whatever. and i believe you said you got to a point where there was so much evidence, that you were glad that that evidence was out there. because there was no turning back. you had to tell the truth. let's listen to number six and we're going to talk about that. >> i have the bishop's private e-mail addresses, more than one. he would text them. he would write them. not saying they're porno graphic material. but this bishop, so powerful,
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supposed to be busy ministering to his flock, sending pictures of you at school, wherever it is. just send me a picture of you. >> again, reverend, innocent until proven guilty. does any of this sound familiar to you? >> right. well, i think everybody in ministry e-mails a lot of people, texts a lot of people. the content of those texts and e-mails is what is important, not the fact that he does that. the same way with traveling with people. all mega church pastors have to have people travel with them to get things done and things like that. so traveling isn't indicative of itself. what's indicative is what goes on during those trips. all that's yet to come out. all of that will be discussed tomorrow at church. then there will be additional responses. and so i would just encourage everybody to understand, this reflects the human condition in a variety of different ways. and we all need to look at that,
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let it warn us, and let it help every one of us as we watch this. but it won't help every one of us if we're judgmental and harsh. instead we need to learn from the four men. we need to learn from what's going on with the bishop. and -- and be sympathetic and helpful to wives, children, and understand these are people. they aren't just symbols, they're people that we all need to be concerned about. there's enough hate in the world. we can all use a little more love. >> reverend, thank you. i want you to stand by. we have a lot more to talk about. the reverend is going to rejoin us in a little bit. pl we'll ask, along with the former employee of the church. a look at the role of the black church in the lives of its members. we want you to be part of this conversation tonight. you can go on to any of the social networking sites, any of the social media there you see and send us a comment. we'll get it on the air and pose it to our guests.
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eddie long isn't the only one name in the lawsuit against him. so is the new missionary baptist church. but the congregation for the most part appears to be standing behind him. it could essentially be the fact that nothing has been proven yet. but we want to bring in a panel to ask, that also says about the faith of the black community, about faith in the black community. mark hill is a columbia university professor and host of a syndicated show called our
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world with black enterprise. and shane lee is a professor at tulane university, and author of several books. gentlemen, thank you so much for joining us. mark, is there a tendency in the black community to elevate church leaders to the level of superstars? >> oh, absolutely. we've seen that since the very beginning of black people's journey here in america. for a long time preachers are one of the few people who access to education, one of the few people who could exercise true leadership. not just black religious life, but black cultural and political life. before we had presidents and senators, we had celebrity preachers. we continue to sort of raise them up now. >> shane lee, is that necessarily a bad thing? >> it depends. it can be good, because i think competition and having people, ministers learn from each other and prove their messages and ministries, technologies, the ways of meeting the needs and tastes of people, i think that's a good thing. but when you build the spiritual
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empire, it creates new pragmatic realities that you have to deal with, and that means generating large sums of money, causing to take short cuts, or causing you to buy into the hype and see yourself as a star rather than as a humble servant. i think it can be good at enhancing the professionalism of the black church, but it could also be something that pride comes before fall as the bible says. >> mark, you're shaking your head very certainly there. what's going on? why are you doing that? >> well, because it's so easy, you know, to be se tduced by th cars and jets. you can actually just become a pit pimp. many of these preachers have become america's preachers. so when you get an eddie long or some other mega church ministers, there's a huge possibility, a huge trap you can
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fall into if you're not careful. you can start to think you're a god instead of god's prophet. >> that's what i was going to say, doing this whole story for the past week or so now, i've heard everybody talk about my bishop, my bishop, we're going to stand behind him. no one has mentioned god or jesus or christ or any of this. shayne? >> to be fair to bishop long, i think part of his success and the reason why people are so loyal is because he's very effective at preaching a message that speaks to their needs. he's effective at speaking in a language that people understand. and his ministry, along with, you know, his own personal finances have done a lot to help the needy, help poor people. so there is a side to bishop long that generates loyalty, that comes from, you know, he does have a humble servant's heart, alongside a huge ego, and cocky attitude and bold kind of masculine presence. so he's a complex figure. i think we have to realize both
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sides of the equation. >> and might that -- i'm just asking -- might that explain the pictures in the bathroom, with the tight spandex or whatever? he's bold and cocky and that's just sort of the way he does business? differently than old-school preachers? >> well, there's nothing new school about that. preachers have been doing this since day one. that's a very generous interpretation. if this happens to be one of the greatest scandals perpetrated by the plaintiffs, then that could be true. but what i think is more likely is that this is someone whose ego bought the best of him, who lost track of his calling and as a result ended up in a very, very bad place. all we can hope is he and the victims make it out. i can't imagine any kind of reasonable explanation for that type of activity from a preacher. >> that's what i want to ask you, shayne. if we can put the pictures back up. seriously, how do you explain that? you say this is -- i'm sending this to you because i want you to work on your spiritual
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muscle? how would you -- how would one explain sending those pictures to someone? >> i'm very curious to see how bishop long explains it. i'm surprised he's going to do a press conference where he's going to take questions. because he's going to have to come up with some crazy -- some kind of gymnastics to execute that picture and to show it in a way it's not damaging. i totally agree with mark. >> long himself preached that homeosexuality is a sin. not necessarily teaching that homosexuality is a sin. that's the number one hypocrisy. but also the acceptance of gays and lesbians in the black church. i read a "newsweek" article, mark, saying when are gays and lesbians in the black church be treated as equals, or even allowed into the fold? >> the fundamental question is, will they be treated as human beings. while this is not unusual in the black church, there are strands
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of black religious thought that are much more open and understanding. those that follow the tradition of jesus and love ethic is the primary thing that i will love all people, all neighbors as myself. other churches, eddie long, are not only anti-gay, but they're adamant and extravagant against gay and lesbian people. >> which is odd to me coming from african-americans who have been discriminated against. i don't understand why people who have been discriminated against will turn around and discriminate against other people. they know how it feels. >> i think there's a sense of shame and embarrassment in the black church. around homosexuality and around sexual abuse. i think that's why you see these types of things happening. >> shayne, what did you want to see? >> the evangelicals see the bible always the authoritative word of god. >> stay with us, guys. we have heard what the accusers have to say. tomorrow you'll hear what bishop long has to say.
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when we come back we'll talk live with several members of long's congregation, what they think about these allegations. hold all your phone calls. for the next hour, there will be no agenda. marie callender's invites you back to lunch, with a new line of fresh recipes. like chicken teriyaki with crisp water chestnuts. it steams to perfection in minutes, giving the fresh flavors and textures of a homemade meal. marie's new steamed meals. it's time to savor. heartburn that keeps coming back? then you're ready for new zegerid otc. zegerid otc is the first 24-hour treatment ever with two active ingredients: prescription-strength medicine plus a protective ingredient that shields the medicine from stomach acid so it's effectively absorbed. just one zegerid otc capsule a day can relieve your heartburn all day and all night. if you have frequent heartburn, try dual-ingredient zegerid otc. heartburn solved.
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the spiritual leader is under fire. what kind of toll is the bishop scandal taking? does the church continue to stand behind bishop eddie long? john and gary and gabrielle, thank you for joining us. and via skype from london we have kevin bond, a grammy award-winning producer and former employee of new birth. kevin, i want to ask you since you're now observing from the outside, do you think montana of the members of the church will stand behind bishop long? >> first of all, thanks, don, for the opportunity. i do. the black church is very loyal, even sometimes to a fault. but at the same time, many of them came to christ under bishop long's ministry. so they will definitely be loyal
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and trust that he's innocent, and hope that these charges can be proven to not be true. >> what about your feelings about this? i asked you about them. how do you feel about this? >> well, without a shadow of a doubt, the information is certainly damaging. the evidence and all the things that are coming out slowly, one piece at a time, all of that is very troubling to many of us in the gos pel community, and christian community. it is also my hope that these things are not true and that he'll be able to prove his innocence. >> so john, why do you stand behind the bishop? >> i personally stand behind the bishop because he's my leader. and as members of the body of christ, it is our duty to stand behind and lift the arms of our prophet. and that's what i will continue to do, until he gives me reason not to. >> and what about you, gabrielle? >> i've been a member for almost eight years now. and ever since i've been there, the ministry has done so much
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for my family and i, for my friends and i. and for my schoolmates. i stand behind the ministry. >> okay. gary? >> i stand behind the bishop because of the leader that he is. he is a true leader. the word that he gives is so rich. it's so life-changing. there is something about bishop that you just respect. and i support the ministry because the ministry has supported me. >> when he was supposed to speak out on the radio show, and then speak out at other times, and he didn't, did that concern you at all, gabrielle? are you at all asking you, any of you, why isn't he talking about this? >> well, i feel as though he's following his spirit. because it may not be the appointed time for him to step
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out yet. he wants to address his congregation on sunday, and that's what he wants to do. i agree with that. >> go ahead. >> don, i think that's -- >> hang on one second. i want to hear this young man and then we'll get to you, kevin. >> i feel this is typical of bishop. he's a family oriented man and he will view new birth as his family. i would see why he would delay speaking to the radio before speaking to his congregation. >> kevin, go ahead. >> well, we understand the delay. but even those of us in christiandom who are not members of new birth, we also want to hear from bishop long. there are those who have supported his ministry, bought the books, videos and tapes and cds as well. we do want him to speak out. so that whatever this cloud of suspicion is over him, you know, can be dispersed. >> listen, i know it's very tough to listen to this, but i want you to listen to what the lawyer of the accused had to say about one of the young men that has accused the bishop and their
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relationship and what happened. and then we'll talk about it. >> anthony was moved in and lived in that house for approximately at the end of 11th grade when he was 17 years old. and there the pastor started to do what adult pedophiles do with younger people, which is starting to spend time with them, casually watch tv with them and lay his legs on him and then ask him to massage him. and then start explaining to him how special he was to him, and it was special for the bishop to be able to spend time with him. they did devotional readings together. he was over there on a regular basis at this house. >> what do you think when you hear that? what do you think when you hear that, john? >> i still have a feeling that those are not the intentions of bishop.
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bishop is known to be a mentor to young men. and i feel that him having interaction with this young man, or watching tv with him, it's nothing. i don't feel it was anything with a negative intention behind it. >> do you know what got my attention behind this? i never told this on television. i was a victim of a pedophile when i was a kid. someone much older than me. this is what they do. this doesn't make you gay when you do this. so when someone starts to say that, you start to go, oh, four people have said the same exact story. and using the same buzz words. how do people come up with those stories? has that ever crossed any of your minds, gabrielle, who you heard four people came up with the exact same story? the third one doesn't know the other and the fourth one doesn't know any of them? >> when i look at different pedophiles, as you said, i don't see bishop as one. if you look at the various
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things that he's done for the community and for young people in general, none of it boils down to him looking like a pedophile. >> i'm not saying the bishop is a pedophile. i'm not saying the bishop is guilty. but no one is perfect. and so far, you know, some people say that, but many people have not even put into their mind the possibility that this man is not perfect, and maybe in some way, even if it wasn't -- the behavior didn't go as far as what the men are saying, that something there was inappropriate. kevin, and as i was saying, kevin, you're older than these guys. i never admitted that on television. i didn't tell my mom that until i was 30 years old. the things these men are telling people, especially african-american men won't tell anybody, even if they make money off of it. >> you tell the truth, don. the matter is, most people don't
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lie when it comes to this type of thing. that's why it's so important that the bishop speak out. and the pause and delay it's taken for him to speak out has caused more -- making it more troubling. >> i think you guys are all brave. kevin, thank you for joining us from london. i think you're very brave. of course you should stand behind your bishop, but you should also have an open mind about this. we hope these allegations are not true. as i said, i've been saying all week, there are no winners in this situation. best of luck to you tomorrow. come back tomorrow and talk to us about what you heard there in the congregation, okay? >> all right. >> thank you very much. black churchgoers often look to the leaders, many times putting them on a pedestal. does that leave them vulnerable does that leave them vulnerable to exploitation. my choice is clear. claritin-d. nothing works stronger, faster or longer for allergy congestion relief without drowsiness. get claritin-d at the pharmacy counter. live claritin clear.
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we have been discussing the sex scandal that has now engulfed eddie long in georgia right here outside of atlanta. i want to bring back our panel now mark hill, tv host of our world with black enterprise. and tulane university professor shayne lee. and ted haggard in colorado springs. thank you, guys, for talking about this. it was tough to play that for the members of the church. they were so young. but, you know, this is reality here. so listen, the woman who is representing the plaintiffs here, the young men, b.j.
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bernstein, a very prominent attorney, and b.j. bernstein doesn't mess around. she represented the young man in the hill case. she talked about this case, and just why she thought that she would take it on. and she said bring it into federal officials. take a look at this. >> and i can tell you, this is -- gives me the creeps beyond anything i've ever heard. because for someone to use their power, and be their pastor, and use biblical verses when he is out in front and list by the southern poverty law center as one of the most homophobic preachers in america? and so he makes these virulent anti-homosexual remarks and at the same time leading some sort of apparently double life. and these young men are confused. they're confused about their sexuality, because at the same time this is happening, they're actually wanting to meet girls. one of these young men is a father of a child, because they
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aren't gay. they just wanted to be loved and cared for by one of the most powerful, charismatic men, that the churches have ever known. >> i was looking at you gentlemen's faces as that was going on. ted, this looks like it pains you. >> well, the human condition is painful. because anybody with a set of ideals, especially somebody obligated to teach the scriptures, has that set of ideals. and then they've got their inhumanity. what stressed me earlier is when you interviewed the church members, how they said he did so many good things, he couldn't have done this. that is not true. it's not reflective of the human condition. every pastor is a sinner while at the same time is a saint. it's a percentage thing. he's a human communicating divine things. and so that struggle is universal, and everybody has to accept that. one way or another.
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>> mark? >> i need to interject here. i think there's a homophobic undertone, not just with ted, but in the media in general. as ted points out, the inhumanity of eddie long, there's something fundamentally problematic. it doesn't have to do with homosexuality or heterosexuality. i actually worked with b.j. bernstein. whether or not these boys are gay or not isn't the point. the point is that a preacher has exploited his flock. that's the problem. as long as we continue to prosecute this in a way that sort of reinforces homophobia in our church and communities, we're going to have problems like this. that's why eddie long can go out there and be homophobic and at the same time prey upon the bodies of his flock. >> b.j. bernstein speaks to that. number three, guys, and thn we'll talk about it. >> he would use biblical stories to talk about how important it was to follow your leader.
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and your master. and let him know that the acts that he was engaged in were not necessarily meaning that he was a homosexual, or that either of them was. but rather the pastor, bishop long, was releasing his passion and his love for anthony. >> shayne, what do you think of that, and what mark said, that there's an underlying homophobia, with not only this case but the media and how it's interpreted in the public? >> you can go back to any james baldwin novel that deals with the church to see the black church as a hot bed of sensuality and at times powerful people exploiting people under them, to yield to those temptations. but the difference here is, if bishop long were accused by women, i think it would be -- even if he was guilty, there would be a chance he could survive. the fact that the black church has such a strong stance -- or i should say black churches have a
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strong stance against homosexuality, this is a whole different light in damaging his career. i think if these allegations hold even partially true, that anyone has same-sex erotic urges, his ministry is done. >> ted, we're talking about the black church here. is the black church, do you think it's more homophobic in a sense than the white church? >> i think that the mainline churches are much less. but my experience was that evangelicalism, their response to me was incredibly, incredibly harsh because of the homosexual element. and it's much easier, culturally, if your sin tendency is heterosexual than same-sex attraction. i think the overall point is, the church is not the gathering together of the righteous. it is the gathering together of the gratefully redeemed. and we've got to get over the
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fact, our leaders, sunday schoolteachers or anybody else, nobody is perfect. everybody's in process. and i don't say that to justify or explain anything away. just as a lesson in reality, that when we exalt people, that if it isn't this particular sin, it is another one. all have sinned, everybody needs redemption. >> thank you so much. ted haggard, shayne, mark lamot hill. and no yelling and screaming, just how i like it. >> thanks, don. >> pleasure. we'll check our top stories after a short break. a white chek on the top of every box to let people know that their cereals have healthy whole grain, and they're the right choice... (announcer) general mills makes getting whole grain an easy choice. just look for the white check.
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extra help. extra control. you may be eligible to pay $10 a month with the onglyza value card program. i'm for top stories. the pentagon is making sure no one can read the first printing of an army reserve officer's tell-all. it destroyed nearly 10,000 copes of anthony shaffer's memoirs called operation dark heart. about his service in afghanistan. it says the memoir contained information damaging to national security. shaffer disputes that. a critical deadline on
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israeli/palestinian peace talks. mahmoud abbas told israel must extend its freeze on settlement construction in the west bank to keep the negotiations alive. that treaty expires on sunday. it came with no warning, by the time it was gone at least five people were dead. a fierce storm roared through haiti's earthquake-ravaged capital in port-au-prince yesterday. it downed trees, and tents providing shelter to those from the earthquake. ricky lake introduces us to the top ten cnn heroes of 2010. >>
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you know, this week's our top cnn heroes of 2010, one of them will be the cnn hero of the year. ricky lake introduces us to one of the nominees who overcame a troubled past to help more than 400 female ex-cons get back on their feet. >> i'm ricky lake. the last two years i have had the honor of helping to recognize the great works of everyday people changing the world at "cnn heroes," and all-star tribute.
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as a supporter of 2008 top cnn hero maria silva, i am committed to building schools and preventing aids in malawi. now, more than ever, the world needs heroes. >> we all leave prison saying, i'm going to get my life on track. and you end up getting off a bus, downtown los angeles, skid row. many times you don't even make it out of the skid row area before you're caught up into that cycle again. my name is susan burton. after my son died, i used drugs. i went to prison six times. finally, i found rehab. and i thought i can help women come home from prison. i picked them up, bring them back to the house. >> she offers you a warm bed.
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like a real family. she made me want to change my life. >> sure. >> you came a long, long way. >> this is a good life. >> that's what it's all about. [ male announcer ] set down your pencils.
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in tonight's"what matters," a sports superstar learns how to handle fame and his own troubled past and decides to use his own stardom to promote the cause of mental health. thelma gutierrez sits down with the nba's ron artest.
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>> reporter: from the queens bridge housing project in new york, he made it to the nba. >> ron artest, that's a three! >> reporter: how many times do you think you've seen that moment? >> at least 100 times. >> reporter: we sat down with the los angeles laker and aspiring rapper ron artest at his recording studio and watched his first nba championship on youtube. all of a sudden we see this exuberant ron artest, who is bouncing across the court. a reporter catches you. what did you tell the reporter? >> i was feeling great and make sure that my success i humbled myself before i partied like a rock star. >> my psychiatrist. >> i was watching the game and thought, gee, i wonder what he means by that. >> my psychologist, she was the first person that came to my mind. >> i thought i heard you say
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your psychiatrist. >> i did sigh psychiatrist, because i didn't know the difference between a psychologist and psychiatrist. >> therapy for you has been part of your life for a long time. >> a great psychologist. he made me go deep, deep into my childhood. deep, deep into my live. deep, deep into my vices. then i had to tell my wife everything. and, you know, that totally changed my life. >> thank you very much. >> reporter: that unscripted moment in front of the largest global audience ever for an nba finals game would transform this laker's champion into a champion for mental health. >> one of the greatest basketball players in the game. and -- and -- what makes him even greater is the fact that he's willing to stand up and say mental health is important to all of us. world champion ron artest! >> reporter: artest recently teamed up with california
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congresswoman grace napolitano, who has counseling programs for students. >> as a kid, i had a temper. as an adult, i was a bad father. and i had to speak to somebody about that. >> you've gone through childhood counseling, marriage counseling. >> yes. parenting. >> parenting classes. >> he had his first son when he was just 16. four years later he was drafted into the nba by the chicago bulls. he admits it's been a bumpy ride. there was a moment that was highly public. >> yeah. >> reporter: november 2004, the pacers were playing the pistons in detroit. a huge fight broke out on the court that artest took into the stands. he was suspended for 73 games. the equivalent of about $6 million. did that compel you to go and get help? >> no. >> anger management? >> actually, the courts said i had to go to anger management class. >> reporter: artest was one of
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ten children who grew up in the projects in new york. ♪ it was a time of drugs. i was afraid. and i backed off. >> reporter: when ron was 13, his parents separated. artest says that was the hurt of his life. and the reason he sought counseling at school. it's the same reason 13-year-old shawn johnson is in counseling at his school. how does counseling help with that? >> taking my anger out, discussing it with someone. >> you can relate to that, ron? >> yeah, i can relate to it. at least having somebody to talk to is very important. >> reporter: and no one knows better than ron, who credits counseling for his success and happiness. thelma gutierrez, cnn, los angeles. >> artest says he will donate his championship ring to raise money for mental health counseling services for youth who can't afford it.
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he says celebrities have offered to buy his ring. but he has declined to hold a random drawing so all his fans can have a fair chance to win. we're back in a moment. [ man ] this is bailey's favorite time of day. mine too. i'm chef michael, and i love to delight bailey's senses. don't i? [ barks ] because i think food speaks a language of love. that's what inspired me to rethink dry dog food. [ female announcer ] chef michael's canine creations.
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[ chef michael ] mmm. tender shredded pieces made with real meat... and crunchy garnishes to enhance the mealtime experience. yes, bailey-- just for you. [ barks ] [ female announcer ] chef inspired, dog desired. chef michael's canine creations. i really didn't see it coming. i didn't realize i was drifting into the other lane. [ kim ] i was literally falling asleep at the wheel. it got my attention, telling me that i wasn't paying attention. i had no idea the guy in front of me had stopped short. but my car did.
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